Without a mutual level of consideration and understanding, communicating with someone with hearing loss can be difficult for both parties. In reality, the same could be said for communicating with anyone, but hearing loss adds a layer of complexity and requires slightly more effort from each individual. We’ve compiled four tips to consider to ensure conversations are enjoyable and not challenging.
Get their attention before you start talking
It’s so easy to start a conversation when your not in someone’s eyeline, ending in confusion on both sides. When it comes to broaching a chat with someone with hearing loss, be sure to be in their eyeline when you start the conversation to allow them to focus on what you are saying.
Use body language to your advantage
A smile can go a long way, as well as eye contact and keeping your hands away from your face. Have a positive body language to create a more comfortable environment that allows for clearer lip reading.
Rephrase, don’t repeat
When asked to repeat yourself, one of the most hurtful things you can say to someone with hearing loss is “It doesn’t matter”. To be more accommodating, it’s best to seek a way to rephrase your original question or statement to help improve the clarity.
There’s no value in overpronouncing words or shouting. Clarity is so much more important than volume and considerably less patronising. When talking to a friend or loved one, remember that they are usually as keen to understand you as you are so be sure to stay calm and speak naturally.